Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Mormon Studies Review

Article Title

Review of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1830–1870, with response by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


women's rights, early mormonism, plural marriage


Ann M. Little: A House Full of Females has all of the signature flourishes we’ve come to expect from the Bancroft and Pulitzer Prize– winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: sensitive readings of textual sources; lavish attention to material culture, especially anything that women had their hands in creating; and very gentle nudges for readers to appreciate the ironies of history. They all add up to create a messy and ambitious portrait of the founding generation of Latter-day Saints, especially of the women whose faith and labor Ulrich argues were crucial to the survival and success of the Mormons. Perhaps more importantly, Ulrich shows her flair for that slipperiest of historians’ skills: the knack for showing her readers that the past is indeed a foreign country, or as she slyly suggests, “a different planet” entirely (p. xxv).

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